Red alert over squirrel sightings

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AN increase in red squirrel sightings across Ponteland has been put under threat by an influx of greys.

The area’s reds preservation group has removed more than 130 of the invaders in the past two months alone.

Now members of Ponteland Red Squirrels are hoping that the Darras Hall contingent, which escaped reasonably unscathed from the squirrel pox virus that wiped out those in the village area last winter, will not be hit by the rising number of grey squirrels.

Chairman Sally Hardy said: “The spring and summer was fantastic because we had an increase in red sightings in Darras Hall, with a few being seen again in Ponteland village as well.

“But since the end of August, we have received many reports of juvenile grey squirrels across both areas. They have probably come in from places such as Throckley and Walbottle.

“Reds do tend to stay hidden if there are greys around and we hope the extra numbers of red squirrels will not be affected by this new invasion.

“Communities have a big part to play in trying to protect our reds by reporting sightings of red and grey squirrels as soon as possible.”

In Ponteland, residents can telephone 07878 061880 or visit www.pontelandredsquirrels.co.uk

People living in other parts of Northumberland can find their local preservation group by going to www.northernredsquirrels.org.uk